Tag Archives: Boston Dance

What Makes Hip-Hop Dance Great for Youth?

Hip-Hop Dance for youth is proven to be the most effective when it comes to physical activity and exercise. Recent studies have shown that youth hip-hop dance classes take first place in moderate to physical activity within a one-hour dance class. This is the recommended amount of physical activity for children during the day.

The US has a general problem of obesity among adults and youth alike, due to lack of healthy physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.

Check out my newest Hip-Hop Dance for Youth classes at BMDS…hip-hop dance for youth with Carl Alleyne

Hip-Hop dance dates back to the 1960’s, it originated on the streets of the US among young people looking for self-expression through art and movement. It is a form of Street Dance, but these days, hip-hop is not just a type of dance but a culture of its own.

Here we’re not going to go into detail about the history, the different moves and the culture of hip-hop, as that would be off topic. But we’re going to take a look at the beneficial elements which make hip-hop dance a good choice of dance style for youth.

Get your kids some extra physical activity with hip-hop dance

Vigorous Movements in Hip-Hop Dance for Youth

Most movements during a youth hip-hop dance class are energetic, that provides the intense interval of activity which directs a child’s energy in a constructive manner and provides for a healthy physical activity.

hip hop dance
Image courtesy of Flickr

Hip-Hop Teaches Rhythm

Hip-hop music is made up of rhythms and beats which dominate the soundtracks. This makes the hip-hop dance for youth classes rhythm-centric, allowing the students to learn to listen and follow the rhythm while moving and dancing.

kids dancing hip hop
Kids and hip hop dance, Image courtesy of Flickr

Artistic Expression in Hip-Hop Dance

As I mentioned before, hip-hop is a culture of its own. This is because it transcends music, dance, style, and art. Students who take part in the hip-hop dance for youth classes learn to express through these moves and through the music finding their own way of artistic expression.

Hip Hop Culture and Art
Hip Hop Culture and Art, Image courtesy of Flickr

Hip-Hop Dance for Youth Encourages Confidence

As the youth hip-hop dance classes are taken in groups, children are taught to work in unity. By working and following a rhythm together they learn to connect with others and to find their own place within the group, this is crucial for the self-confidence of a child.

Youth Hip Hop Dance Group
Hip Hop Dance Group, Image courtesy of Flickr

Personal Style in Hip-Hop Dance for Youth

The core of the establishment of hip-hop so many years back is the fact that it gave young people a sense of identity. Nowadays, young people continue to find their place within that culture through music and dance which gives them the opportunity to develop and create their own style of moves in hip-hop dance.

Youth Hip Hop Worldwide
Youth Hip Hop Worldwide, Image courtesy of Flickr

Any thoughts on Hip-Hop Dance for youth? Share them with us!

dance for youth

QUIZ YOURSELF: Do you have the Heart of a Dancer

Are you a dancer at heart or not?

Or are you more of an artsy type who loves to explore creativity and arts?
Are you still searching for your true inner self?
Take this fun assessment quiz, which will show you what your tendencies say about you as a dancer or none dancer…
Fun and useful, this assessment can help you decide your next moves on your creative journey of life.
Enjoy, and share with your friends!

Locking Creator’s Class Boston – Tickets

Now you can get the Locking Creator’s Class tickets as well as the Vaudeville Funk tickets.

get creators class tickets   Locking Creators Class

The Vaudeville Funk Venues

Vaudeville Funk Show Live Performance, Silent Auction, and Dance Party ft. The Beantown Lockers, Don Campbell, and Dennis DDouble Danehy!

Saturday, October 29, 8-10pm

Boston University Dance Theater 915 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA

Locking Creator’s Class Take a Master-class from the Creator of Locking, himself!

Sunday, October 30,  starts at 1 pm

Deborah Mason School of Dance 624 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA

Tickets are available in the following packages:

Vaudeville Funk Ticket – $20 Available 9/30 – 10/29

Vaudeville Funk Tickets purchased at the door are $25.

Don Campbell Creator’s Class Registration – $20 Available 9/30 – 10/29

At-door class registration is $25.

Vaudeville Funk/Creator’s Class Package$38 A special deal for anyone attending both Vaudeville Funk and Don Campbell’s Creator’s Class!  Available only until 10/29.

get creators class tickets

What is Positive Parenting?

What is Positive Parenting?

The Positive Parenting approach has a growing trend over the last 10 years and it still continues. This is because more and more parents are realizing that Positive Parenting is not only important for the healthy development of their children, but it is also a choice in life that will bring about positive changes to the society.

If you think you can’t do much to change the world, you are wrong. By choosing the Positive Parenting approach, you are already changing the world.

Before digging deeper into what Positive Parenting is, I feel it’s important to point out to not idealize this. No one is perfect, a perfect parent nor a perfect person does not exist. If it did, our planet would probably be a planet of higher spirituality, like a heaven. But we are humans, living on planet earth. Perfect with all our imperfections, and lectures in life which serve us to help us learn and change.

The important thing is to be aware and mindful of our own thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Then we are able to recognize if and when we can do better. By practicing the Positive Parenting approach, we are doing our best already. It’s okay if we don’t succeed every time, it’s okay if we react imperfectly, the important thing is to be conscious of this and to do better next time.

The Positive Parenting Approach

Positive Parenting chooses positive discipline instead of punishments. This means demonstrating to your child that they always have a choice and that the consequences that will come, will depend on the choice they make.

As parents, we should be able to regulate our emotions and not get overwhelmed by them, which inevitably leads to us taking it out of our children. That’s why it’s important that we choose to live healthy lifestyles. Eat and sleep well, and take short moments during the day for ourselves. This way we have a lot more physical and mental energy, and the patience to use the Positive Parenting approach.

The goal is to bring up a child that will want to behave in a positive manner rather than a child that is obedient because of fear.

A child forced to obey through fear and shameful punishment will grow into an insecure and angry adult with a variety of other possible negative psychological issues.

Various studies and research on Positive Parenting have proved that having empathy and connection with a child will yield much better parenting results in the long run.


The core features of Positive Parenting

  • Empathy
  • Affection
  • Love
  • Connection
  • Talk
  • Listening
  • Respect
  • Example
  • Praise
  • Demonstration
  • Appreciation
  • Play
  • Social Interaction
positive parenting features
The Features of Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting Techniques


Allowing your child to make choices

In small day to day activities, and in moments of confrontation, you can always direct your child by showing them that they have a choice and which choices they have. Even a choice such as tidying up or not tidying up their room. Your goal should be to help them understand what the consequence of each choice would be. By doing this, you’re teaching them responsibility and leadership.

Teaching Appreciation and Gratitude

Teach your child to say thank you and to feel gratitude for the smallest things. You can go a step further by starting off the day or before bedtime, with contemplation or short conversation about the things we’re grateful for today. Gratitude is a high vibrational emotion and it will help your child, in the long run, to help them reach their goals and overcome obstacles.

Assigning Tasks

Assign certain tasks to your child during the day, this can even be a routine task such as setting the table for a meal. For smaller children, this can be taking part in self-care with simple tasks such as eating with utensils or brushing their teeth. This will help your child build self-confidence, independence, and responsibility.

Focusing on the Good

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in a cyclone of negative behavior and frustration. To avoid this, try focusing your attention on the good things that your child is doing or the things they’re usually good at, and by suggesting a change of activity. That way you’ll be empowering your child and making things easier for you and for your child at the same time.

Talk and Explain

Always explain to your child why something is not good and why you don’t want them to do something. This way, you are showing respect to your child and encouraging them to act with reasonable behavior. Rather than with destructive behavior which is usually the result of explanations such as the dreadful “Because I said so!”.

Teaching Kindness and Empathy

Teach your children to empathize and be kind, through your own example. Even at a very young age, you can teach them to be kind in small activities such as sharing toys and helping each other. You will bring up a child who will be a kind adult willing and able to help others. Children raised with such positive aspects will bring new generations of people who will make this world a better place.

Allow Your Child to Make Mistakes

It is important to teach a child that failure is not bad and that it is an opportunity to learn something new. By allowing children to do things their own way at their own pace, we’re encouraging them to self-discovery and self-confidence.


During moments of conflict and tantrums, it is a good idea to take time-outs. But with time-outs, it’s really important to teach your child to learn to calm down. Just by directing them to take a few deep breaths is a great way of encouraging them to learn to find peace.

Goal Setting and Learning Through Play

Setting small achievable goals through everyday tasks and games helps your child learn to be determined and consistent. Children learn through play best. You can get some great ideas for games that can be used for goal setting and other lessons you want to teach your child, or you can invent some yourself.

dance for youth

Back To School: Tips for supporting your child

Back To School: Tips for supporting your child

Whether your child is just starting off as a school child or they’re going back to school, the transition can get tough if you don’t pay attention to some crucial parts of the phase.

As a father of 4, I’ve been through this myself time and time again.

As a parent, you already know your child. You know their needs, characteristics, tendencies, and difficulties. But you don’t always have the best solutions for everything, and this is natural. So, guidelines and tips from other experienced parents and professionals are always welcome.

Besides having a well-organized schedule there are other really important points you have to pay attention to, so the back to school transition runs as smooth as possible.

These are the points that focus on your child’s emotional well-being.

But, before we begin, I’d like to tell you a story my friend told me the other day…

“As a young child, when I was starting school, I didn’t know anyone in my class. It was a neighborhood school, and most of the kids knew someone. But until I started going to school, my mom and I didn’t really mingle much with the folks from the neighborhood because we were rather new there. So basically, I was the only “stranger” in the class. Everyone found someone to sit with (as the school had pair desks) and everyone else was fast enough to sit towards the front. The little, shy me, had to take the last desk in the back, all alone. I was very sensitive and shy. So that was a horrible experience for me. So a comforting talk to my mother was the most important need during that time.”

Why am I telling you all this?

No matter what type of character your child may have, he or she is bound to experience some uncomfortable moments on an emotional level. It’s crucial to not dismiss these situations. Because no matter how silly and insignificant they may seem to you, they mean more than you may suspect, to your child.

So keeping in mind the common basics of starting off or going back to school, we’re going to take a look at these important parts from an emotional level.

These can serve you as a guide to help the school transition run smoother and healthier for your child, for you and for the whole family.

The back to school basics

Getting organized is key. Healthy routines will help your child feel more stability and confidence.

Things to remember:

School supplies – Have you double checked that your child has everything they need for school? If you’re not sure, double check with a school supplies list.

Food – Is your child carrying a lunchbox or are they eating at the school? Whatever the case, think healthy snacks. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Routines – Do you have a set bedtime and morning routine? Add some extra care and organizational tricks into the routine.

  • Spend a moment talking to your child about the experiences of the day before going to sleep, show your child you’re listening.
  • In the morning, take the positive approach; encourage your child and give them some simple things to look forward to at school and during the day.
  • Prepare as much as you can in the evening: Check the weather forecast, prepare the clothes, lunchbox and school bag.

Transport – How’s your child traveling to school? If you are able to, take your child to school yourself at least during the first transitional period.

Activities – Are you overly focused on discipline and school work? Of course, school time is crucial for your child’s learning and development process. But overdoing it can seriously backfire. In fact, research has shown that too much work, work, and work, gets overwhelming for the human brain. Making the end results of a much lower quality.

Take the Finnish School System for example. In Finland, young school kids don’t have homework, but they still get better results at the end of the year than in any other countries.

So rather than focusing on school work constantly, remember that balance is what you’ll always be aiming for.  

There is no perfect solution and no perfect parent, but we can do our best to do what we can to support our children in a healthy way. Remember that young children especially, learn through play and exploration.

family fun

Creative movement and dance are fun activities which can help your child learn and acquire great new skills.

First days thoughts and feelings

One on One time

Stressing the fact that communication and one on one time are always important, especially during the back to school transition, because many changes and novelties are ahead. Talk to your child and ask them even about the basics; where do they leave their coats, where did he/she sit today, is there anything particular that happened today.

This transition period is also a great opportunity to teach your child to talk about and express their emotions.

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy life, especially if you’re working full time and taking care of your kids. This often causes parents to neglect precious family moments that are crucial for all family members, especially for children. So keep in mind that you and your child need to have some set moments of relaxation and one on one time.

It is important to communicate with your child so they are assured that you will always be there for them. In difficult situations and even in cases of bullying, a child must know that they can rely on someone to help them.

Friendships make the world go around

Playdates are a great way to help your child build friendships at school. But they’re also good for parents because you also get to make new friends.

If you don’t like making new friends or you don’t find that child’s parent an interesting friend, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help your child nurture that friendship.

Ask your child about their friends; do they have a favorite? Reach out to the parents of the friend, start off the communication with them. And set a playdate, a few hours at the park maybe or a trip to the zoo even.

Homework and challenges

Helping your child with homework shouldn’t be taken as a “must do task”. It’s better to take a more relaxed and fun approach. Talk to your child about homework. Is there something that they are finding difficult and challenging?

But, don’t always give them direct solutions. In many cases, it’s better to help the child find a solution themselves. That way you’ll be helping them build self-confidence.

school is cool

Nurture creativity rather than strict discipline

While discipline is extremely important, it’s also crucial to not overdo it. Focusing on discipline only, can really overwhelm a child and suffocate their creativity.

Many parents still believe in this style of parenting, but studies have shown and proven time and time again that over disciplined children often develop tendencies such as stress, anxiety, perfectionism, rebellion and even psychological disorders.

So, instead of constantly putting an emphasis on discipline, look for balance. Find ways that allow your child to use their creativity.

Every child is different, but every child is also creative. Give them more options and help them find an activity they like most.

Creativity is crucial for the healthy mental development of a child. Consider the benefits of dance and creative movement for children, it’s definitely something to think about.

Dance and Creative Movement are activities which help children develop creativity in many different aspects. Check out Dance for youth classes at BMDS.

Locking 101: Infographic

|INFOGRAPHIC| Locking 101, the art and history

As a follow up to the second part of our Locking 101 Series, here’s an infographic with a digest of the History of Locking. Facts only!Locking 101 Infographic

Did you enjoy the infographic on Locking? Share it with your friends or tell us what you think in the comments below.

 dance for youth

Locking 101: The art and history of Locking, real facts only

Locking 101: The art and history of Locking, real facts only

Locking is not just about dancing, it is about freedom of movement. As Don Cambpellock says; Locking has to come from the emotion, from the heart.

“The Campbellock” aka “Locking” is an improvisational performance dance which is based on the expression of the individual, with “The Lock” as its base, in which everything flows from (Dennis Ddouble Danehy, Son of Donald Campbell)

The best dancer doesn’t always win, it’s the best entertainer. Never hold back!

Don “Campbellock“ Campbell on Locking at HHI 2015

Locking Fact 1

The beginnings of Locking

During his college years, Don Campbellock was attempting to do the Robot Shuffle dance among a number of friends. He did the interpretation of the dance, forcefully locking his elbows in place. His friends noticed that move and encouraged him to do it again, saying “Do that Lock Campbell, Do that Lock!” From then on his moves became known as Cambellocking. Don Campbell danced his dance from then on all over clubs and TV Shows, from 1970 to 1973.

Locking Fact 2

The Original Locking Style

The definition of locking, as envisioned by Don Campbellock, the father of Locking; by the words of his son Dennis Ddouble Danehy, “The Freedom of Movement, using the “Lock” as the base, for which everything flows from.”

When you break things down in to pieces, especially when the move I was doing was continuous, it doesn’t flow the way it’s supposed to. What I did was spur of the moment. I was spontaneous, right on the spot. Not making up steps. Especially not naming them.

Don „Campbellock“ Campbell

Locking Fact 3

The Original Lockers

The Lockers were founded by Don Campbell and Toni Basil. This group was together from 1973 to 1976. The original members were Don „Cambellock“ Campbell, Toni Basil, Bill “Slim The Robot” Williams, Greg “Campbellock Jr.” Pope, Leo “Fluky Luke” Williamson, Fred “Mr.Penguin” Berry and later added Adolfo “ShabbaDoo” Quinones.

Locking Fact 4

Changing the face of dance

The Lockers “changed the face of dance” by bringing a new dance genre into Street Dance. The dance that became known worldwide as a genre that transcended art, fashion, pop culture and entertainment.

Locking Fact 5

The Campbellockers

The initial name of Don “Campbellock” Campbell’s original dance group was The Campbellockers. But, this was only for their first show in “The Roberta Flack Special”. Some of the dancers participating in that show were not a part of the group that then became known as “The Campbellock Dancers” at “The Carol Burnett Show with Johnny Carson”. Due to legal issues, they then became known as “The Lockers”. The name “The Campbellock Dancers” actually came from Don Campbellock’s tour for the song “The Cambellock”.

Locking Fact 6

The “Real” Music

The Campbellock Dancers always danced to music played by live musicians. The music genre wasn’t always necessarily constricted to Funk, Soul, R&B and Old School. The Lockers danced to the music that was popular among the crowd.

Locking Fact 7

Locking the way up

The Lockers had over 100 appearances on TV shows within the first 3 years. These shows include “Soul Train”, “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show”.

Locking Fact 8

The dance from “The children of the Ghetto”

Michael Jackson has been quoted as saying that he got his dance moves from the children of the ghetto. Don Campbellock was one of these “children”. A young man that found his purpose in the freedom of movement and the irreplaceable emotion that creative dance provides and the one that shared his unlimited creativity and excellent showmanship to amaze and entertain others with his dance.

Locking Fact 9

No such thing as “correct” moves

Don Campbellock’s dance came from his heart, from his emotions and the inspiration that the music gave him. He didn’t create or follow a choreography, and he didn’t give his moves any particular names.

When I was out on that floor, I wasn’t trying to come up with steps then name them. That’s not and has never been what my dance was about. That’s not how creativity works. You got to let it flow. And whatever comes out is you being you.

Don “Campbellock” Campbell

Locking Fact 10

Dancing through the ages

The Locking dance form is half a century old, and it is still loved by everyone who encounters it, for its unique energy and entertainment style. Unfortunately, as all history is retold by many, the real history gets lost along the way.

These facts were written with the cooperation of Dennis Ddouble Danehy, the son of Donald Campbell.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Locking too, share your comments with us below!

And stay tuned for a Locking Revolution coming your way…

Next up,  Locking 101: Infographic

Stay tuned for some Locking fun with the BeanTown Lockers…

How to boost productivity when you’re all over the place

As someone who sometimes wishes a day would last longer than 24 hours, I have to continually keep finding ways of maximizing my time during the day.

Thing is, I’m an entrepreneur and an artist. I’ve got my business, Boston Mobile Dance Studio where I also teach, I have my band the Beantown and I’m the founder of the BeanTown Lockers.

Additionally, I’m a proud father of 3 awesome little munchkins. So, all in all, using my time productively during the day is crucial for me. I’m always looking for ways to boost productivity, and every little tip really helps.

I’m always looking for ways to boost productivity, and every little tip really helps.

First of all, I’m going to guide you through the tactics and habits that I use to boost productivity and make my day more productive.

But let me tell you something before going further. The biggest change I’ve experienced in my productivity is after reading the book “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod.

Getting up early in the morning and implementing my Miracle Morning routine has helped me organize my day better. It’s helped me clear my mind and find clarity for the rest of the day and the upcoming tasks.

Don’t sit down all the time

When working at my desk, I don’t sit down. I’ve placed my laptop on a high desk shelf so that I’m standing while working in front of the screen. I’ve found that this helps me keep my energy flow moving and the strain on my back is minimized.

Define time blocks of working

Some people find that working in 90-minute blocks makes them most productive. After these 90 minutes, you should take a 15-minute break. But this brake needs to be something useful, not surfing the web, scrolling through Facebook or something not so useful.

These 15 minutes should be used for a useful activity such as going for a walk, doing some exercise, meditating or having a healthy snack.

I usually work in 2-hour blocks during which I time myself. I time every 10 minutes in which I drink 30 sips of water.

Hydrating with water is crucial for the whole body and for the brain. It also helps in reducing stress, keeping the body balanced and energized. I also make 10-minute breaks to do some exercises such as neck rolls, push ups, etc.

You can always try the Pomodoro Technique to boost productivity, which has been proven as very effective.

pomodoro boost productivity
Pomodoro Technique for boosting productivity

Having a healthy sleep pattern

It’s important to have a healthy sleep pattern. Sleep is crucial for the brain. Lack of sleep causes lowered concentration levels, increases stress, and causes burn out.

Although it may not be possible to go to bed early in some situations, I try to make it my goal to go to bed by 11 pm. This way I can get enough sleep to be able to get up at 4:00 am.

When I gig with my band, I get home very late so I don’t go to bed before 2 am, in these cases I sleep in unless it’s necessary to get up early. I also try to take power naps during the day if I didn’t get enough sleep during the night.

sleep and boost productivity
Sleep well and boost productivity

Balancing work and life

I’m a family man. So even though I have a day full of projects and responsibilities, I do my best to take time off. I spend my evenings with my family, I take time off to go out with my wife and my kids. I love going to the movies because it really helps me detach from the fast paced and sometimes very stressful work situations. Spending simple moments with my wife, laughing and joking around helps me remember that life should be enjoyed and not taken so seriously.

Balancing work and life is really important for boosting productivity. Failing to balance these two will not only cause decreased productivity, but it will also eventually cause burnout.

Continuous learning

As someone with many roles and responsibilities, I’ve truly experienced the importance of learning. You should never believe that you’ve learned everything you need to know.

Failing to develop and expand your knowledge and skills will make you unproductive in all areas of your life. There’s always something to learn.

For me, I’m always looking to learn more as an entrepreneur and as an artist. I love listening to audio books, especially while driving my car. I drive a lot, so I try to use this time constructively.

I love the way Brian Tracy puts it:

The second part of continuous learning is for you to listen to audio programs in your car. Audio learning has been described as the most important advance in education since the invention of the printing press.

Boost productivity by listening to music

Music can enhance all areas of our work and life. But it’s important to choose this music carefully.

Different genres and frequencies have different effects on the brain. Energetic and fast music with fast beats or lyrics should be avoided during mental activities.

As a performer and a natural introvert, being too hyped up tires me emotionally and mentally. So, I prefer to listen to classical music during mental work, it helps me relax and focus.

Whereas during active work such as rehearsals, dance classes and workouts I listen to energetic music. This helps me maintain my energy, motivation, and creativity.

And that would be that from me, my dear friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed this read and that it will help you boost your productivity.

Try some of these things and tell me how it goes, I’d love to hear your opinions.

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